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Breast Cancer Confidence Project

Meaningful Photography & Its Positive Impact on Survivors

In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t the only thing that flipped Michaela Raes’ world upside down. Her breast cancer diagnosis came around the same time, disrupting her treatment options. In the midst of the scariest things happening at once, Raes found a way to see the strength that would guide her throughout her cancer journey. Before undergoing any surgeries, she hired her close friend Jolana Hollister, a Rochester-based photographer, to do her very first boudoir photoshoot.

Raes shares that her confidence was never the best, and the cancer diagnosis only exacerbated her fear for her body: Will I feel alright with myself? Will I look bald? What will losing hair feel like? Now, Raes can say that these overwhelming fears were unnecessary. You’re still the same person when you’re diagnosed with cancer. You may look and feel different, but you’re still the same wonderful person, and Raes’s boudoir sessions helped her realize this.

A Shared Experience

Raes’ first boudoi